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He served as an infantry officer in World War I. In World War II he served as a corps chief of staff in the Polish and French campaigns and as chief of staff of First Panzer Group, later First Panzer Army, in Russia in 1941. After a short tour as chief of staff of OB WEST he was appointed Chief of the Army General Staff in September 1942. He was relieved of this position in July 1944 and retired from the Army in January 1945.
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